How often do you see an international cricket captain taking the back seat and allowing a debutant to be on the driver’s seat, especially in the IPL? Not so often, right?
However, that's exactly what happened in the third match of IPL 2020 at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium. Australian captain Aaron Finch, who plays for the Royal Challengers Bangalore, decided to walk straight to the non-strikers' end while a 20-year old Keralite Devdutt Padikkal, who plays for Karnataka in the Indian domestic circuit, was the driving force at the top.
Playing shots around the wicket after taking an initial time to adjust to the pace and bounce of the wicket, Padikkal was at the top of his game while his senior partner enjoyed the strokemaking quietly from the other end of the pitch.
This kind of culture is something new in the RCB team as this team is generally about two front-liners – captain Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers. In the past, they have had plenty of firepower like Chris Gayle, Yuvraj Singh among others, but the public demand was always for the Kohli-de Villiers combination.
New beginnings in IPL 2020 for RCB
And often, we have seen the same combination running out of steam when it mattered the most in crucial knock-out games. The one thing that has been consistent in the RCB team is that they always start their season with plenty of hope and firepower. However, just as they reach the business end, they generally run short of energy to finish on a high.
The fact that RCB haven't managed to win an IPL trophy is because of the ‘VIP’ and ‘Super Hero’ culture of seniority and might in the side. Finch, however, displayed a rare trait on behalf of his team.
It is something that also defines the Australian way of backing the right player at the right time. In the end, Padikkal finished with 56 from 42 deliveries, while his senior opening partner Finch scored 29 off 27 balls. The opening stand worth 90 runs of just 66 balls laid the perfect platform for RCB to go big in the final overs.
Safe to say, the senior vs junior debate is only on paper and not on the field for RCB in this IPL!
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Published 22 Sep 2020, 00:27 IST